The reigning champ stepped up the pace on the final lap, but Ellison managed to hold off the Kawasaki rider to successfully cross the finishing line by 0.l seconds, in a tight finish. Samsung Honda’s Alex Lowes was one second behind the experienced duo and crossed the finishing line in third.
The race was initially red flagged after only the first lap, after Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki’s Keith Farmer experienced an engine blow out at Hizzy’s and crashed out, with Howie Mainwaring Smart and BSB debutant QBSD Motorsport’s Jamie Poole quickly following suit as they fell on petrol that spilled on to the track.
Farmer and Mainwaring Smart were able to re-start but had to start from the back of the grid after taking longer that sixty seconds in the pits. They were joined by Tyco Suzuki’s PJ Jacobsen, who had clutch issues and missed the call to go onto the grid. He missed out on his original front row start and had to begin the race from the back of the pack alongside Quattro Plant’s Barry Burrell.
The New Yorker had a solid start and after two laps was as high as eleventh, and battled with Quattro Plant’s Chris Walker and Buildbase BMW’s Jon Kirkham to cross the finishing line in seventh.
There were no crashes after the re-start, but there were a few technical retirements. Mainwaring Smart came back in the pits after attempting a lap, then Buildbase BMW’s James Westmoreland came into the pits on lap four. He did eventually come back out on to the circuit but because he changed a rear tyre his lap times didn’t count. PR-Racing’s Karl Harris also experienced bike problems on lap ten.
Lowes did lead for the first two laps from Tyco Suzuki’s Josh Brookes and Byrne, but on lap three at Old Hall Ellison passed Lowes to take the lead, and that is where he remained for the duration of the race. Lowes slipped back to fourth, but clawed his way back to third by lap eight. Brookes found himself in a battle with Halsall Racing’s newest recruit, Tommy Bridewell, but the Aussie managed to hold off the Devizes lad to cross the finishing line in fourth, with Bridewell equalling his best BSB result of the season in fifth.
Samsung Honda’s Ryuichi Kiyonari had a shocking qualifying, but managed to push his way through the pack and easily passed Kirkham and Walker to end the race safely inside the points in sixth, three seconds behind the Kawasaki of Bridewell. Kirkham, Walker and GBmoto’s Dan Linfoot rounded off the top ten, with Rapido Sport’s Matteo Baiocco snatching the remaining points position of fifteenth.
Ellison said after the race: “We are coming good at the right time, I feel stronger now than at any time so far this season and we have picked up the pace at just the right time. Shakey kept me honest and it was hard because we were both riding at the limit.”
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- Alex Lowes